The hot, hazy days of summer are really starting to drag me down at work. I’m finding it harder to get things done and stay motivated, when all I really feel like doing is leaving work early and relaxing at the pool. Is there any cure for the summertime slump?
Lazy in the Heat
You’re definitely not alone. Thanks to the warmer weather, workplace productivity tumbles about 20% in the summer, according to a recent survey of 600 workersby Captivate Network. More of us feel distracted, take longer to complete projects, go on longer lunch breaks, and even have a drop in work attendance. While this is a natural phenomenon, though, you can still get your work done despite the heat waves. Here are a few ideas to get over the slump:
Set the Thermostat at the Optimal Temperature for Working
If the temperature inside your office is too high or too low, your productivity can suffer. This infographic from Grasshopper, citingresearch from the Helsinki University of Technology and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, states the optimal office temperature is between 70 and 72 degrees (Fahrenheit). For every degree over 77 degrees, productivity drops 2%, and below 68 degrees, error rates increase dramatically. So if you have control over the thermostat or can sway your office manager, get your office environment to that “just right” temperature range. (10% of employees also waste time arguing over the office temperature, so if everyone could just agree on the 70 to 72 degrees setting, we could also save time.)
Switch Up Your Routine or Where You Work
If work is starting to feel a little stale, you may be able to get a kick-start simply by changing your routine or environment. Try getting outside more during the workday (e.g., by holding meetings outside or taking a walk for your breaks) or working at a coffeeshop for some renewed creativity. In the Captivate Network study mentioned above, telecommuting helped workers increase their productivity in the summer, so now’s a great time to convince your boss to let you work from home.
If you tend to do the same things at work in a set order, consider either switching up the order or injecting a new task or activity. The summer is a great time to learn new things and challenge yourself.
Try a New Productivity Method
We have a lot of productivity techniques and tools at our disposal. You may be able to fix your procrastination problem by using Seinfeld’s productivity secret or get more done with the Pomodoro Technique, where you work in bursts of 25 minutes.
Work Your Best Hours
Knowing that this is a really hard time to stay productive, focus on your most important work tasks and carefully block out your time so you’re working when your mind is freshest and most focused.
Don’t beat yourself up too much if you’re not working as your ideal productive self. Some days you’ll be very productive, and perhaps other not. Just try to get your most important things done, and remember to take breaks to recharge.
Enjoy the summer!
Photo by Justin Lowery